Jefferson County's medical examiner says there have been 100 heroin-related deaths in the county this year, surpassing 58 that were recorded in 2013.
Al.com reports Chief Medical Examiner Gregory Davis is asking the Jefferson County Commission for a 2 percent funding increase to help cover autopsy costs and renew a contract with UAB to provide toxicology services. A committee approved his request and the full commission is expected to vote on it Wednesday.
The City of Birmingham has lost the court fight to keep the Cooper Green Mercy hospital open for the poor.
The city was unable to force Jefferson County in the latest round in court Wednesday to keep hospital open and operating as usual.
Lawsuits against the county are effectively frozen in place until the county emerges from bankruptcy under Chapter 9. The city asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett to lift a stay so the city could sue the county in state court.
Jefferson County courts are switching to a public defender system in a move meant to control costs.
Circuit Judge Scott Vowell said the new public defender's office will have a dedicated staff of attorneys to represent defendants who cannot afford their own attorney. Right now, judges appoint private lawyers to represent indigent defendants.